He created woodcuts showing the Moon and the planets as he saw them through a self-constructed telescope. In 1646 he published most of them in the book Novae coelestium terrestriumq[ue] rerum observationes, et fortasse hactenus non vulgatae. In 1645, he claimed to have observed a satellite of Venus (Paul Stroobant demonstrated in 1887 that all similar observations were not related to a putative satellite of Venus).
The lunar crater Fontana and the crater Fontana on Mars are named in his honor.
Note: See Donato Creti for paintings of planets from the next century.
Fontana also claimed to have invented the compound microscope (two or more lenses in a tube) in 1618, an invention that has many claimants including Cornelis Drebbel, Zacharias Jansen or his father Hans Martens, and Galileo Galilei.
Media related to Francesco Fontana at Wikimedia Commons
- Novae coelestium ... observationes (1646, Latin)
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